ride height?

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#16

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Took the car for a 600 mile loop through mainland New York today, and traveling through New York City was part of the trip, no way around the city.
Traffic was surprisingly light, and nobody follows the speed limit in the city, so I actually drove the speed limit in some areas. At higher speeds I think the usual pothole becomes much more damaging to my suspension went over it at a slower speed (30mph vs 50 mph).

So I got to my destination and I noticed that one side rear wheel was lower than the other side, looked under the car and saw that the rear coil spring was bent over, kind of like it was not on the strut spring seat anymore, but well off to the side of the strut with only the strut bar holding the spring in place.

Without compressing the springs is it possible that the springs can shake off the strut spring mount? The next time I can look at it would probably be 2 days from now so I can surely get as much insight as I can.

Also, When the ride got really shaky I noticed the aftermarket autometer gauges i have on my passenger side dash pad (water +trans) where bouncing, and sometimes pegging the other side, it looked like the gauge sender was grounding out, but both gauges was doing it at the exact same time. Could this be caused by the positive line that runs to the ignition grounding out? I dont think it should because if the + grounded out, it would result in a fire and the gauges would be flickering downwards, because of the lack of power getting to the gauge, and the gauges shut down.


Also another thing to consider is that my suspension probably sees more than all the new SUV's off roading combined (not much but there is certainly some 4-wheelin goin on). I drive into the city 3 times a week, and I know it beats the hell out of the suspension, because there is good anomalies in the road.

Hope this makes nearly perfect sense, its late as hell, or early as hell, its 2:30 in the morning and i am tired
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

Carimbo
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#17

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

Probably depends on the shape of the spring seat. What brand shocks? When I bought my car last year it had white KYBs. The spring seats had an upward-facing cupped edge. Seems like it would be difficult for the spring to slide up over the raised outer lip and over the edge. The pass. side shock was several thousand miles past gone-- rod flapping loose in the housing. The Gabriel Gas Ryders replacements have a spring seat w/ a flat (not raised) edge; nothing much to hold the spring from slipping to the side except for the upper part of the shock body housing inside the coils of the spring itself.

Wondering: if the shock fails to the point my KYB did, and the rod is at an angle to the housing, this may bow the spring enough to cause it to slip off the edge of the seat?

Wondering some more: Hey, didn't you put some washers under the spring seat? Could this be causing the seat to sit cockeyed?

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#18

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Carimbo wrote: Wondering some more: Hey, didn't you put some washers under the spring seat? Could this be causing the seat to sit cockeyed?
Nop, I was considering doing it, but wound up not.

I have the stock Nissan struts that came with the car, with a few wishbone spacers rammed in there. My guess is that all the wishbone spacers moved to one side and knocked the spring off the housing. Hopefully thats the case, but like I said yesterday, ill jack up the car and really look at it tomorrow.

Mabye im suffering from severe shock failure, hell it is 25 years old so I think a strut + spring change is in order
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

glenlloyd
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Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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#19

Post by glenlloyd » 13 years ago

I'm not particularly fond of Gabriel products. I have them on the rear of the wagon right now only because they were about the only ones I could find that didn't cost a lot.

I've had them on the Dodge van before and they were awful.

Anyone know if the rear shock mounts on the wagon are strong enough to support air shocks? I know it would be better to have the rear springs worked on but I don't know whether I could stomach that cost..especially with the winter heating season approaching.

steve a
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

Carimbo
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#20

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

kassim503 wrote:I have the stock Nissan struts that came with the car, with a few wishbone spacers rammed in there.
What are wishbone spacers?

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#21

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Carimbo wrote:
kassim503 wrote:I have the stock Nissan struts that came with the car, with a few wishbone spacers rammed in there.
What are wishbone spacers?
My bad, the correct name is dogbone spacers.

Its interesting that google did not yield any results for wishbone, spring, and dogbone spacers. Since its raining, im not taking a pic of it, but ill just draw one and scan it in. (no work gets done either)

Image


I ordered new springs through NAPA- $71.xx for the pair, not so bad. Mabye ill throw in new struts too, but im not sure if I can leave the caddilac ride behind, struts are not a biggie for me, I dont really drive aggressively.

Also the struts are easy to change on this car, there is no trim inside the trunk to take out and no lines or hoses to disconnect.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

Carimbo
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#22

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

kassim503 wrote:Also the struts are easy to change on this car, there is no trim inside the trunk to take out and no lines or hoses to disconnect.
Do you wrench on them from in the trunk (combination wrench?) or remove the rear seat/package shelf (socket wrench?)?

PS: Strongly suggest you replace the struts while you are in there. Originals? You'll be glad you did!

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kassim503
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#23

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

The bolts seem to be accessible from the trunk with a combo wrench, if its not ill just pull the rear seats out, good chance to clean all the dead bugs jammed in the crack between the speaker board and the backseat.

I came to terms with losing a bit more cash and doing the struts as well, the old ones have been over the hill for the past 15 years and I bet they make no resistance at all. I might as well do it, spring compressors scare the crap out of me (bad experience).

Anybody have a experience with blowing the strut spring seat, spring cradle, anything structural on this car before? 2-3 times a week I pull a bunch of corn-fed Americans for many miles of highway travel, and there are big bumps on the road there, and I usually hit the bump stops on every bump. I want to know if im going to blow something with 400 lbs of people in back, and 530 pounds in front.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

goglio704
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#24

Post by goglio704 » 13 years ago

Pop the grills off the speakers, remove three screws, remove speakers, and you will have excellent access to the strut studs. Be sure to pay attention to the position of the top plate as it does have a front and back.
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#25

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Matt- thank you for the comment about removing the speakers, it really speeded the job up.

I put new springs and struts in, the old ones where so worn out that the strut post was moving around inside the strut. Good thing the front ones arent at that stage yet, the front ones seem a little harder to do.

Springs are NAPA, along with the struts. So I have NAPA branded springs and monroe struts, ride height pictures will follow soon. (too cold)

Good part of it is I can carry so much weight and not bottom out, I got about 400 lbs in the back and I still had a good 2 inches of travel. Also my car dosent squat down as much on WOT.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

Carimbo
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#26

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

kassim503 wrote:the old ones where so worn out that the strut post was moving around inside the strut.
Talking about rear struts here; I think we can say this is pretty common. My car had this problem with its white KYB replacements at 209,000 mi total, I've seen it in 2 JY cars, and diesel-man said this earlier:
diesel-man wrote:I've had to replace rear springs on probably 5 or 6 sedans. The rear struts are on the fragile side also.
So are we really dealing w/ a high-maintenance item or are we unrealistically expecting them to last 200,000+ miles?

Carimbo
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#27

Post by Carimbo » 13 years ago

kassim503, Curious to know if you installed shock boots on the new struts to protect the strut rods? The boots get destroyed pretty quickly and are getting hard to find.

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#28

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

yup, I put in new boots with the strut, they came with the strut, napa dosent seem to list it online, sounds like you gotta buy a new strut to replace the problem, and that would mean sacrificing the Cadillac ride of old struts. sounds to me like struts on the rear of the car is a regularly maintainenced thing, my struts seem to worn out already, and thats not saying much, its been a few months since I replaced them.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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